Sessions help families get ready for school
Pre-school children and their families are taking part in sessions to help them to get ready for starting school.
At the sessions, which are funded by the city council, parents can pick up practical skills and strategies to help their children settle in when they begin nursery or reception classes in school.
The sessions are taking place at nurseries, schools and children’s centres across the city, and will run through the summer term and into July.
Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, assistant city mayor responsible for education and housing, attended one of the sessions at Allexton Day Nursery, in the west end of Leicester. She said: “Starting school is a big event and for some children it could be the first time they’re away from their parents.
“Even for children who are used to nursery or pre-school, it’s a change of routine and it’s essential that we support families so that they can give their children the best possible start to school life.
“Parents can worry that their children need to be able to read or write before they start school, but actually it’s practical skills that are more important. These Ready for School sessions focus on things like sharing and taking turns, being able to put on a coat, or talking about what makes you happy and sad. They are the things that will help children to feel happy, confident and ready to learn when they arrive at school.”
Family learning, which is part of the city council’s Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service, offers a wide variety of courses for families throughout the year to help parents understand and support their child’s learning.
Courses include how to make story sacks and explore reading with your child in fun ways, having fun with maths, family health and first aid, how to feed your family for a fiver and many more practical, hands-on courses.
The city council’s children’s centres also run a range of courses and activities for under-fives and their families. These include stay and play sessions and support for early language development.
Leicester recently secured nearly £800,000 of Early Outcomes funding from the Department for Education to help boost language development in children under five. The money will be used to offer activities that support communication development, such as story time sessions in libraries and children’s centres. It will also be used to audit existing services, and during the summer, professionals will be discussing with families what they think would help them.
To find out more about Ready for School sessions, visit families.leicester.gov.uk/schoolreadiness
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